Improving On the "Little Things"

Head coach Greg Schiano talked about the WVU game and the upcoming Cincinnati game during the Big East teleconference.

"It was a good football game down at West Virginia," Schiano said on Monday. "Unfortunately for us, we came out on the wrong end of it. I thought our guys prepared hard and trained hard all week, we just weren't able to close it out. "

In Schiano's view, the effort is there and it's just a matter of time before things get turned around in the right direction.

"The guys just fought, they did the same thing against Navy," he said. "The team prepares as hard as any team I've been around, so I think it's just a matter of time before we get good enough to win games. I don't know when that will be, but we're getting better."

When asked why the team has struggled and lost four of five games, Schiano gave the same answer he's been giving the whole season: Rutgers is struggling with the "little things". He does think the team is continuing to get better.

"Some being inexperience, some coming earlier in the year when our veteran players were pressing a little, or not coaching well enough," he said. "All the things that can occur, but the encouraging thing I see on a daily basis is improvement, and we're getting close."

After struggling early, Schiano said Teel is also improving.

"Mike's had some really good plays, and he's had some that I'm sure he wishes he could have back," he said. "I think he's done a good job leading the program and running the offense. Earlier in the year he threw far too many interceptions, but he's improved on that. We're holding onto the ball more, so we need to keep on doing that."

The health of Kordell Young has been a question frequently asked. When asked if he would play Saturday, Schiano said it's too early to figure out, but he hopes his all-purpose back returns soon, because he and Jourdan Brooks would make a solid one-two punch.

"There's a chance, I'm not too sure, it's too early to speculate," "It's one of those injuries that takes some time to get better from. Hopefully one of these weeks he'll be ready to go because in game he gives us a different direction. He and Jourdan would be a terrific tandem."


This weekend Rutgers will be on the road again, this time against Cincinnati. Schiano said the Knights will certainly be challenged again.

"Now we get ready to head to Cincinnati," he said. "They're certainly playing good football so it's going to be a great challenge again. Going on the road in the Big East is very tough, doing it against a team like Cincinnati - who's a good football team - makes it even harder."

In 2006 after an upset over Louisville, Rutgers suffered a hangover and lost at Cincinnati. Schiano hasn't forgotten the game, but he would like his team to use the game as a motivational tool.

"It's a disappointing memory, one that we've learned from," he said. "Hopefully we'll be able to use that experience in the future. Certainly a very disappointing game."


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